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June 25, 2013

Welsh rises on the West Coast

Thomas Welsh isn’t much for getting into the specifics of recruiting.

Not often will the 7-foot center from Los Angeles list the programs with scholarship offers on the table. Nor will Welsh dive into the schools at which he looking closest. Instead he keeps things general in scope and keeps things focused on the court.

“I’m just trying to take my time with it I guess,” Welsh said. “Just try to get a lot of information on these schools then go from there I guess.”

Welsh has in the past listed scholarship offers from Arizona State, Cal, Gonzaga, Pacific, Portland, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Santa Clara and USC. Other programs expressing interest include Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Colorado and Wake Forest.

Since the spring evaluation period things have expanded as well. Welsh admitted some “East Coast schools” are in the mix now.

Notre Dame counts itself in the group of programs farther away from the West Coast interested in seeing more of Welsh once the July live period begins.

Welsh hopes to impress staffs with a high motor.

“I want to keep going out there and play hard every game and try to get better,” he said. “There’s nothing I really wanna show them specifically. I just want to keep improving myself as a player and, yeah, get better.”

Over the last couple months Welsh has been working to improve his agility, low post scoring and jump shot out to 15 feet while balancing the recruiting process. He has started to develop a general list of criteria.

“I think the two biggest things are the combination of academics and athletics in a school,” Welsh said. “Those are the two things I look for the most; a really good academic program and really good basketball. That’s the main thing.”

Talking with college coaches will help Welsh gain a better feel for how different programs meet those standards ahead of more campus visits, which should take place during the fall.

Welsh tries to get coaches on the phone as much as possible rather than relying on text messages.

“I just kind of talk to them and see what they’re actually like,” he said. “I think getting them on the phone a little bit is good just because they can’t really think about what they’re saying like if it was a text they would. I just kinda talk to them and see what they’re really like.”

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